How to Install a Sprinkler System? – [The Complete DIY Guide]

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Are you planning on installing a sprinkler system in your garden yard and are confused as to where to even begin? We wrote this guide in colorful easy to follow steps that will walk you through a step by step guide on how to install a sprinkler system.

You need not be scared about this project, installing a sprinkler system can be a DIY project that will save you lots of money. Doing it yourself can be very cost effective because sprinkler components and accessories available today are much easy to work with and maintain.

However, if you must install a sprinkler system, the importance of adequate preparation can’t be overemphasized. Digest theses outlined steps below before you venture into this project.

Garden Sprinkler System

Step 1: Make the Right Contacts

The first step to installing an underground sprinkler system is to make the right contacts with local authorities and water companies within your area for building permits and codes for backflow prevention devices. The devices are required to protect your underground water supply from contamination.

Step 2: Outline Your Property to Scale

Draw and outline your property plainly in a graph sheet. A small square on your graph sheet should represent one square foot on the actual property. To get this right, you need to use a tape measure to outline your property properly. Remember to:

  • Measure and draw your property to scale
  • Identify areas of obstacles like trees slops.
  • Accurately measure the perimeter of your property showing grass, flower beds and landscaping
  • Lastly, identify the soil type i.e. Sandy, loamy or clay.
Sketch for sprinkler system installation

Step 3: Handy Information Sheets

Next, you need to construct a small information sheet where you will take records of all your prep requirements. Without which you might miss out on a lot of things.

  • Firstly, determine the level of water pressure at your outdoor faucet using a standard pressure gauge. Screw the pressure gauge to the water meter ensuring that no other faucet is running indoors or outdoors.  Record this information on your information sheet.
  • Ensure you record the meter size on your information sheet too.
  • Next, you need to identify and record the supply line type. Supply lines are either Galvanized, copper or PVC. PVC’s are white, copper has a unique copper color while galvanized lines are generally silver in color.
  • Next record and identify the supply line size on your information sheet.

Step 4: Determine the Type of Pipes Needed

Now that you have major information recorded in your information sheet, the next thing you need to do is use the information you have to determine the type of pipe to use. The most popular pipes in stores are PVC and polyethylene pipes. Some people even use rubber garden hoses or stainless steel garden hoses while installing a sprinkler system.

Types of Pipes Needed For Sprinkler System

Step 5: Lawn and Garden Preparation

Now that you have major information all laid out, time to prepare the garden for irrigation. Divide your property into sections or zones marking out areas like the front lawn, flowerbeds and side lawns. Draw this on a sheet of paper

Label all areas correctly in your yard that you want watered. There are two most commonly used types of sprinkler heads available, Impact Sprinklers and Oscillating Sprinklers. Read our guide linked with them to choose the best products for your irrigation needs.

preparing the garden for irrigation system installation

Step 6: Layering Sprinklers, valves, and Pipes

Time to prepare and plan on where to place your sprinklers, valves, and pipes.

  • Now that you have your garden yard all mapped out into sections, you need to plan the sprinkler locations and heads in such a way that water from one sprinkler reaches the other sprinklers. This way all areas for your garden will get wateredsprinkler system layout
  • For smaller areas choose a small to medium area sprinklers. For larger areas choose medium to large area sprinklers. Remember to overlap sprinklers head-to-head to space them out evenly.
  • By now you ought to know your home’s water capacity. Knowing your home’s water capacity will give you an idea of how many sprinklers can run at once.
  • Now you know how many sprinklers can be run by your home’s water capacity, it’s time to divide your home into zones.
  • Zoning your home into regions of sprinkler heads will help you draw in the pipes and number of valves needed.
  • Remember that for every valve you install on each zone you will need a valve control system in place.valve control system for irrigation
  • Next in this section, now that you know how many valves and sprinkler heads you require it’s time to draw out the pipes you need. Once you have the pipes drawn out on paper count how many feet of pipe you require to cover the yard.
  • Lastly, order extra pipes, valves and sprinkler head in case anything goes wrong or you misjudged in your calculation.

Step 7: Timer Location

Installing a timer system with your irrigation sprinklers is an absolute necessity. You need timers to help regulate the valve stations. Timers and valve controllers are sited where they can be easily accessed. A place like a garage or basement is a very good place to start. WiFi sprinkler controllers are frequently used these days for controlling sprinkler systems.

If you have six valves, buy 7 to 8 strands of wire. One strand per value and an extra 1 or 2 strands for connection to the timer system.

Installing a timer system for irrigation sprinklers

Step 8: Install the Pipes, Sprinklers and Connect to Water Supply

Now that you have planned properly, and are better informed on what you need to buy. It’s time to go shopping for the required equipment. Take along your information sheet and the graphical sketch of your property layout to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Once you have bought all that is required, follow these steps to fix them in properly:

  • Ensure you have all permits needed to install a sprinkler system before you begin.
  • Time to install your sprinkler system to the main water supply lines. Using a hoe, shovel or any other digging means start digging out regions where the pipes are going to lay.
  • You can use markers to line out areas within the yard where pipes and wires will lay. Stay on course and ensure you don’t dig outside these regions.
  • Without soldering, use a compression tee to connect your sprinklers to the water supply system. Better still, to avoid complications, attach your sprinkler system to the main water faucet or garden spigot.
  • Install shut off valves: Additionally, you can install shut off valves to your sprinkler system. Shut up valves come in handy when repairs are required.Install the Pipes, Sprinklers and Connect to Water Supply


Unless in rear cases where you might require assistance, the outlined steps above should suffice for most garden sprinkler installation. Keep this guide handy to walk you through major sprinkler installation processes.


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